Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Asia Series Report Davide Valsecchi (iSport) scored his third win of the season to become GP2 Asia Series Champion as Arden rookie driver Charles Pic scored his first GP2 Asia race win at round three of the ...
Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Asia Series Report
Davide Valsecchi (iSport) scored his third win of the season to become GP2 Asia Series Champion as Arden rookie driver Charles Pic scored his first GP2 Asia race win at round three of the Bridgestone supported GP2 Asia Series at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit.
The medium compound Bridgestone GP2 tyre helped provide close action over the race weekend in Bahrain, with pole position taken by Jules Bianchi (ART) by a mere 0.004secs from Valsecchi. Qualifying was particularly exciting, with pole only decided in the final moments of the session, and the top seven drivers separated by less than half a second.
Friday's race was won by championship leader Valsecchi, after pole-man Bianchi made a poor start. Valsecchi didn't make a perfect getaway either, dropping to third at the end of the first lap, behind Javier Villa (Arden) and Luca Filippi (Malaysia Qi-Meritus). Valsecchi made his compulsory pit-stop later than the two drivers ahead, meaning he was able to take advantage of his fresher rubber to pass Filippi and then Villa to seal his win, and secure him an unbeatable lead in the drivers' championship standings.
Saturday's race with a reverse top eight grid from the first race saw Pic pick his way through the field from a fourth placed start to enjoy his first GP2 Asia Series win. The first lap saw contact between the second and third drivers on the grid. Pole-man Adrian Zaugg (Trident) tried to hold off the pack of following cars until Pic made it past on lap 5. Pic then maintained his lead to the chequered flag.
The teams' championship was also decided in Bahrain, with Oliver Turvey scoring a point in Saturday's race to take iSport International out of points reach of their rivals.
Valsecchi now has an unbeatable lead in the drivers' championship with 45 points, ahead of Ricci on 19. The teams' championship is lead by iSport International with 62 points, meaning they cannot now be beaten, with Arden International in second place with 28 points. The fourth and final round of the GP2 Asia Series takes place in Sakhir alongside the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix on March 12-14.
Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto - Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Asia Series Engineer "Our Potenza medium tyres showed stable performance in Bahrain and their appearance after use showed that these were well used in both races. On Friday the tyre change strategy for the compulsory pit-stop was one of the key performance factors. Valsecchi's pit stop was the last of the top three drivers at the time and this offered him fresher tyres than the others at the end of the race, helping him to win. Many drivers, including Valsecchi, chose to change two rears in their stop while Villa changed both left tyres. Not only the pit-stop timing, but also the choice of the position of tyres changed served as variables for performance in the final part of the race."